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Rays sign Asdrubal Cabrera

Tampa adds to its crowded middle infield.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to a one-year deal. Monetary terms have not yet been disclosed. Cabrera spent the entirety of his career with the Indians before a midseason trade to the Nationals last season. He batted .241/.307/.387 overall, good for a 97 wRC+, with sub-par defense at both middle infield positions. Those numbers mark a continued decline from his 2011 breakout, when he hit 25 home runs and posted a 119 wRC+ for the Indians. The poor defensive metrics are in line with his career numbers.

The Rays now have three middle infielders for two positions, adding Cabrera to Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist. Presumably, the Rays could trade one of the incumbents. Zobrist in particular has seen his name come up in trade rumors this offseason, with the Giants frequently rumored as a destination.

Cabrera had been seen by some as a fit for the Mets given their hole at shortstop. However, his poor defense, mediocre offense, and high price tag likely made him a lateral move. Arguably, his signing with the Rays is good for the Mets; if Zobrist and Escobar are indeed being shopped, both profile as better players than Cabrera and would likely have a much lower cost in terms of prospects than Troy Tulowitzki.